Dunne targets top-10 finish

Dunne has recovered from a dislocated shoulder and proved his

fitness in playing 90 minutes for the Republic of Ireland against

Macedonia. He is in line to face his former club Everton at

Goodison Park on Saturday, along with fellow centre-back James

Collins who has recovered from a calf setback. Collins and Dunne

were fined two weeks’ wages for their behaviour towards members of

the coaching staff during a team bonding session at a health spa

three weeks ago. Dunne said: “It’s been a tough season for us all

and we know there are tough games still to be played but everyone

is up for the challenge. “We have eight games to turn this around

and we’re all in it together, to make sure that the club secures a

safe position and climbs the table to as high a place as possible.

“Everton will not be an easy place to go to try to begin this run

but the incentive is there, with the table still being so tight, to

grab a top-half finish. That’s far from beyond us.” Dunne believes

the international break came at the right time after the home

defeat against Wolves. He said: “Obviously, our confidence was

knocked a bit by the result against Wolves. In that sense, the

international break probably did us some good. “I came through the

game against Macedonia, there were no problems and now we’re back

at it, all fresh and raring to go. “To have come through 90 minutes

for Ireland was really good and I’m looking forward to playing my

part in these final eight games. “The fans’ support will push us on

and we’re determined to finish the season as strongly as we can.”